Mark and I had a lot of fun last time when we went berry picking on our bike ride. I’m hoping this becomes more of a regular thing; it’s a lot of fun to go leisurely biking around town.
Image courtesy Google Maps (2009)
This past Saturday (July 4), Mark’s plan of action was to go to the farmer’s market on North “A” between 6th and 7th street.
It’s pretty informal — a bunch of local farmer’s bring some of their latest crops to a public parking lot, and sell their vegetables for cash. Pretty cheaply too!
I knew that they did this on Tuesdays, but apparently some of them also come down on Saturdays too!
This morning, my friend Mark stopped by to see if Sullivan and I were interested in going on a bike ride.
Mark has a really cool Dutch cargo bike called a “Bakfiets“, it’s like a normal bike except it has a wheel-barrow-sized cargo bay up front. It has a bunch of other nice amenities as well, including handcuff lock, internal-gears, and head/tail lights. They’re kind of pricey and a bit difficult to get used to, but definitely handy to have!
One of the nice features in the Bakfiets is that the cargo area has seatbelts built for children. We strapped Sullivan into the cargo area, right next to Lena (Mark’s daughter), and grabbed a plastic container for collecting blackberries (the fruit, not the PDA). Continue reading
One Garden Plot, early May 2009
A little over a month ago, we started to re-plant our garden.
In magnitude, our garden lies somewhere between the biggest “serious” suburban gardens in Richmond and the small casual gardens. We grow mostly conventional vegetables and herbs, although this year we have a large (40+ bulb) plot of garlic! We have a few flowers and shrubs for aesthetic charm as well.
The technique we use for our main flowerbeds is called “Square Foot Gardening” from a book by Mel Bartholomew. SFG is a terrific technique for people with a small plot of land that want to maximize their yield and minimize the maintenance. (Our land parcel in southside Richmond is just under half an acre, I think, and most of that is occupied by our house.) Continue reading
One phrase that I’ve heard dozens of times is “Oh, I used to be a vegetarian, but…” Some people say it remorsefully, almost out of failure, that they just couldn’t hack it. Others say it in the same disdainful way that people announce that they “used to listen to Britney Spears.”
There are a lot of reasons why making a lifestyle switch like this can fail. Swearing off meat is a big change, and we veg*ns are unfortunately in a minority, so a lot of times we’re going at it alone. But there are a few things you can do, strategies, approaches, or whatever you want to call them, that may help you avoid the pitfalls that end up in a wistful “used to be a vegetarian” story. Continue reading
One of the reasons that Aaron and I set up this website is because as soon as people find out that our family is vegetarian we’re inundated with lots of questions about what we eat, why we eat the way we do and how others can make better food choices. We don’t mind answering questions, of course — and it began to make sense to have one point-of-reference to direct the local veg-curious crowd.
Often people say to us, “I would like to be a vegetarian, but…” or even “I would like to eat less meat, but…” For lots of reasons that vary from philosophical to health, indulging in a plant-based diet may be one of your goals too. This is my top three tips to new vegetarians and those looking to just cut some meat out of their diets:
A while back, there was a show on the Speed channel about Formula-1 (F-1) racing. Formula-1 racing is that kind where they use the crazy looking uber-efficient cars, with the huge spoilers, extra intakes, big tires, etc. It’s what the movie “Days of Thunder” was about.
In this particular show, the show’s host, a stock-car racer (think NASCAR), was chatting with an F-1 racer. The host was allowed to take an F-1 car out on the track and do a few laps. They did a video analysis of the run afterwards, and the F-1 racer noted that the host could have saved a few tenths of a second if he had taken a few of the turns a bit tighter.
Now if you have ever taken a sharp turn a little too tightly, you’ve no doubt felt your inertia mix with centripetal force to give you the sensation that you’re being pushed to the outside of the curve (sort of like riding the Teacups in Disney World). We’re programmed to interpret that feedback as “careful there! You’re taking it a little fast!”
Apparently, in F-1 racing, the cars have internal computers that handle transferring the power to the wheels in such a way that you can take sharp curves VERY tightly, in order to maintain as much speed as possible as you round the bends. (That’s partly what the spoilers are for, as well — keep the rear tires pressed to the ground for maximum traction on curves). The host was instructed that he needs to “trust the car” and let it handle the curves.
Trusting the technology instead of our instincts. This just all feels so unnatural to me, and I can just feel my instincts throwing up all kinds of yellow flags about it.